Sediment in a hot water heater.


Recently there has been posts about draining hot water heaters and the pros as well as the cons in doing this. Typical maintenance on a hot water heater is to flush the bottom drain at least once a year. In some towns where they flush their fire hydrants to keep the pipes clear it is suggested to follow their lead a few days after as any sediment that is disturbed ends up on the bottom of your heater.

sediment in a hot water heater, home maintenance repairs, plumbing, The tiny opening at about 2 o clock is all that remains the rest is build up of hard water and debris that has collected at the bottom of the tank
The tiny opening at about 2 o'clock is all that remains the rest is build up of hard water and debris that has collected at the bottom of the tank.
sediment in a hot water heater, home maintenance repairs, plumbing, This is the insides of a new tankless hot water heater
This is the insides of a new tankless hot water heater.
sediment in a hot water heater, home maintenance repairs, plumbing, Another side shot of the heater It vents with three inch PVC pipe
Another side shot of the heater. It vents with three inch PVC pipe.

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2 of 55 comments
  • Dan Moss
    Mar 13, 2016

    One option to draining is called a power flush. No matter what the age is or whether or not you have flushed in the past. You can Perform a mini power flush. Simply hook a hose up to the drain valve and flush about five gallons while the tank is still on. This will not remove all off the sediment and may have to be performed several times, but if you think a full drain down is going to put you risk of leak, it is an option. If the water heater is 10-15 years old it time to replace anyway.

  • So glad I saw this before I ruined everything. We bought a new heater four and half years ago and I didn't know it needed to be drained every year. Doh. I was looking into doing it after all this time but now I won't open that can of worms. Thanks for a great and helpful post!

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